OMB approves NOAA's speed restrictions to protect right whales
73 Fed. Reg. 74003 / Vol. 73, No. 235 / Friday, December 5, 2008 / DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; 15 CFR Part 902; Endangered Fish and Wildlife; Final Rule To Implement Speed Restrictions To Reduce the Threat of Ship Collisions With North Atlantic Right Whales; OMB approval of collection-of-information requirements.
SUMMARY: NMFS announces approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of collection-of-information requirements contained in regulations implementing speed restrictions to reduce the incidence and severity of ship collisions with North Atlantic right whales. DATES: Effective December 9, 2008.
EXCERPT: On October 10, 2008, NMFS published a final rule implementing speed restrictions to reduce the incidence and severity of ship collisions with North Atlantic right whales (73 FR 60173). That final rule contained a collection-of-information requirement subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) that had not yet been approved by OMB. Specifically, 50 CFR 224.105(c) requires a logbook entry to document that a deviation from the 10-knot speed limit was necessary for safe maneuverability under certain conditions. On October 30, 2008, OMB approved the collection-of-information requirements contained in the October 10, 2008, final rule. NMFS announces that the collection-of-information requirements are approved under Control Number 0648–0580, with an expiration date of April 30, 2009.
Because right whales are slow moving coastal swimmers and have a thick layer of blubber allowing them to float when dead, they were an easy and profitable species for whalers to harvest in the age of whaling in the United States. Ship collisions, prop strikes and entanglement in fishing gear are now the most common causes of serious injury and death of North Atlantic right whales. Photo and caption from NOAA news.